Constantin is a 29 years old young man from Lapusna, who has finished the training in social entrepreneurship, being one of the first 32 young persons from the Republic of Moldova having attended a training in the field of social entrepreneurship. He is now getting ready to participate in the “Social Enterprises Accelerator” Competition and hopes to obtain financing to start a business with a workshop for making wicker baskets.
We fully felt Constantin’s enthusiasm. Very friendly, always with a smile on his face and a sparkle of joy in his eyes, this young man offered us another reason to be inspired and to be confident that we are in the right place, that our project can generate long-term impact and echoes.
“The training will help me help other people like myself.”
Constantin is a young man with leading skills, representing his colleagues from the Self-representation Group.
From his very first day of attending the training, the moment he introduced himself, Constantin told us about the business idea he and his colleagues from the Self-representation Group from Chisinau had – a workshop for making wicker baskets.
He came up with the business idea while attending the Conference in Social Economy we organized on May 13th 2021 and after having seen a model of a social business from Romania – Paper Mill, a space recreating handmade traditions and old crafts. He would very much like to bring such a social business model in the Lapusna community and afterwards develop it with his colleagues from the organization.
“When did you last feel helpless, yet invincible?”
During the trainings we organize, we generally start with a presentation game. Alongside usual information present in a self-presentation game, each participant must also answer a question they randomly extract from a set of cards. Since nothing happens by accident, Constantin’s question was: “When did you last feel helpless, yet invincible?”
It was not by accident that he received that question, because he is a true fighter and understands how it is to feel invincible, growing up with a tough diagnosis – cerebral paralysis. He went through three surgical interventions, the first when he was just 5 years old. That is when he first learned about invincibility because he had to learn to walk again.
Although he finds it difficult to move around, he is an independent, ambitious, responsible adult. He came by himself to our social entrepreneurship course in Vadul lui Vodă. He was happy every time he received help from his colleagues, he confidently asked for it when needed and every time his colleagues were glad to offer their support. The fact that he was alone in the few days of class, away from home, proves that people with disabilities can lead independent lives, with the same beautiful experiences that make each of us happy.
Constantin wants more than a workplace – he wants to create workplaces for young people with disabilities
“My biggest happiness would be to help my colleagues from the Self-representation Group to find a workplace.”
After having completed secondary education, Constantin took some accounting and computer use courses. He is now doing primary accounting at a pharmacy, but he is ambitious and wants more. The young man plans to develop several craft workshops and create opportunities for young people who have little chance of finding a job, but whose skills would allow them to work successfully in a manufacturing workshop.
“I have a lot of patience and I am not giving up!”
The young man is part of the Self-Representation Group from Chisinau, where he learns about the rights of people with disabilities, promotes advocacy, participates in educational activities, visits museums. As in the case of Tamara, the young woman who suffers from the same disease and who participated in the same course, the Self-Representation Group is a place that brought many opportunities for knowledge and development.
Below are the answers received during the conversation with Constantin:
What are your difficulties at this moment?
I am already used to the situation; I do not feel it as difficult.
How was your childhood?
I had a wonderful childhood! I saw the sea many times, with my father – he says, happily, and remembers especially the first time he saw dolphins in the sea.
What makes you smile, be optimistic?
No matter how hard life is, it’s worth living! Even if I went through difficult moments, I managed to surpass them through ambition.
What’s your super-power?
I try not to think that I will not succeed. I try to overcome difficulties as they come. I never say I can’t do this! I have very good memory!
What do employers like about you?
I manage things very well. I do my job very well. I understand the task from the start … my courage, my strength …
Your biggest dream
To comment a football game! I like football and I know things about the players.
What would you like to others to know about you?
I am a fighter!
Who influenced you the most?
How would you describe them?
The best parents!
“I live every moment to its fullest!” – Constantin said. We believe this is motivation and inspiration enough, coming from a wise young man, teaching us that people with disabilities do not have to be pushed aside, ignored or pitied. It will be enough if we are ready to speak to them, to stop for a moment from what we are doing and listen to them. We might just discover ourselves and from totally new perspectives.
In the end, we invite you all to be kind. This little is necessary to change things for the better.